Update: Stroke of Grace has become In Darkness Sing and has moved to JenniferSaake.com.

Thirty-nine-year-old Jennifer Saake (founder, Hannah's Prayer Ministries), experienced 6 strokes via vertebral dissection at a chiropractic office, including brain stem and cerebellum bleeds, in Oct. 2011. Jenni remained hospitalized for nearly 2 months and was not expected to live (near death experience) nor recover, but if she even survived, she was slated to live out her days in a nursing home or, best case, to maybe come home but wheelchair-bound and needing 24-hour care. At 5 years, 7 months God showed how He was writing her story from the beginning.

Jenni is currently writing more books and stays active on both Facebook and Pinterest. Stroke of Grace became In Darkness Sing in early 2018 and has moved, along with all five of Jennifer's active blogs, to one location at JenniferSaake.com.

Since Jenni's chiropractor carried no insurance and moved out of the country soon after the accident (thus avoiding any legal or financial consequences), if you would like to help contribute to the Saake (pronounced like the two small words, say and key) family's massive financial needs (medical expenses alone are estimated to cost between $1- and $1.5- Million in Jenni's lifetime), please visit Jennifer Saake's Stroke Survivor GoFundMe Page. (This support information has been added in direct response to several reader requests.) The Saakes sincerely thank you for your prayers and if God prompts and equips you to send any monetary assistance as well, this is a significant added blessing.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Music and MRIs

I have my regular check up with my neurologist at 8:30 tomorrow (Monday) morning. (The kids restart school tomorrow, so it will be a week of adjustment at our house!) Sometimes it just seems so surreal that this is my life now. I really had a stroke in my 30s? More than two years later I still have enough brain damage that they monitor me about every 3 months? *sigh* As a friend says, "Sometimes I just get really tired of not being normal!" I guess we will be talking about the necessity (or not) of another MRI soon. Should be an interesting morning.

I think I'm kind of past the medical community knowing what to do with me though, as I shouldn't have even survived and am well past the best medical expectation for my recovery. Did I tell you that last week my eyes measured at only 0.5 degrees of being un-sinked, down from 30 degrees when the neuro-othomologist first saw me 23 months ago (3 1/2 months after my initial strokes, when I had already seen much improvement)?

I have been able to brush out my hair 4 or 5 times, on my own, this past week, and get hair clips in my own hair twice as well! I'm going to look at my funds, then hope to buy this clip (affiliate link), in the style of clip I have been able to manage on my own, celebration:

Today was really hard at church. The music is so neuro-stimulating that I can't even go/stay in the main sanctuary until morning music practice is over. Then, during service, the loudness literally makes the entire left side of my face physically hurt, I got nauseous enough that I wanted to throw up several times (I actually did throw up after I got home, but I think that was from a sudden rush of sugar since I hadn't had a soda for months and drank one at lunch today), and I sat there cringing through most of the worship time, physical sucking in a gasp of startling pain during one especially loud portion of one song.

Like last week, my arm didn't really hurt when I first got there, but was throbbing by the time service even started. This just from being around and trying to interact with so many people, I'm pretty sure. I even went and sat quietly on the bench for about 20 minutes before the service started, rather than trying to mingle and interact as I normally do, but still, all the commotion of multiple conversations and movement all around me was quite overwhelming. Our church doesn't offer an alternative, less noisy or less crowded service time, so we are giving this newest frustration until to the end of the month to settle down, then we will have to potentially face some tough decisions about where we will continue to attend. I'm thinking a very small congregation with a much quieter musical option is likely to become my only choice. This is so very, terribly heartbreaking to even consider! But as my husband says, none of our family can truly enter into a spirit of worship, knowing how stressed and in anguish I am the whole time. :( I have been hyper-sensitive to noise and light all afternoon since this morning's service!

I crossed paths with a woman I'm rather sure was another stroke survivor today at Sam's Club (an amazingly less noisy, active, or over-stimulating place than our own church). The first thing I noticed was the slightly imbalanced shape of her face. I didn't even consider it to be "drooping" but could just tell there was something not quite symmetrical going on there. Then I noticed she only used her right arm, for everything, while the left remained hanging limp at her side, fist curled into a tight ball. This was my biggest clue, actually. Next, I watched her walk. She walks more smoothly without a cane than I do than I do with, but upon active inspection, there is a slight limp as well. I watched her, from my wheelchair for a while, then she turned and looked at me, seemingly eyeing me up as well. I think we were just sizing each other up, slightly confused and a little doubtful about one another, then eventually realizing we likely shared a common bond. We never got to talk, there was just something comforting in the knowing a "secret" about one another and what we had each survived/endured, one that the casual observer might never guess.

Day 57 of 100
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. - 2 Corinthians 13:14


1 comment:

  1. I had a real moment like that at therapy today while chatting with a fellow stroke survivor. Quite surreal.